A reflexologist is someone who specializes in massaging the feet and hands (and sometimes ears), and as owner/operator of Happy Feet Reflexology, Liz Daniels is applying the art to help relieve stress for the people of Chico. She says that reflexology sessions make feet feel “tingly, alive, they have energy, they feel like the circulation is complete, they’re not too hot and not too cold … they feel like you do when you get out of a full-body massage. But when I work on your feet, I am actually working on your whole body from head to tail.” Like an acupuncturist, Daniels employs principles of Chinese medicine, working off the idea that energy meridians (or channels) pass from the soles of our feet up through the organ systems of the body, and that massaging one area can impart benefits to another. Visit happyfeetreflexology.net for more info, or call 321-6897 to schedule an appointment.
By massaging the feet, what exactly are you doing?
I’m breaking up any of the calcium polyps that are at the nerve endings, moving them around so they can get washed out … opening up the blood vessels, getting the energy flowing. Our chi [vital force] is best when our energy is flowing. I work from the toes to the heel. Every once in a while I’ll feel an area that feels blocked—either it’s puffy or there’s something hard underneath the skin, and I can kind of work it out. I focus on these places and work them until they’re better. I always give water or tea to people during the session, so there’s a washing out, to help remove the toxins.
Can you describe a reflexology session?
I work out of my home, which is a peaceful environment. I make it as relaxing as possible. I start people out with putting their feet on a salt block, which draws out toxins. Then they get to soak in a footbath a bit. Then I have them slip back into their chair, and that’s their time [while I massage their feet]. Some people fall asleep, others unload. Some go from talking to dozing off. I never make anyone get up right away. They can just get up easily when they’re ready to. I try to make people feel comfortable the whole time they’re here.
What do you do with your free time?
I am involved in Chico Permaculture [Guild], the West Lindo Avenue Community Garden, Northern CA [Counties] Time Bank. I work in the park as a crew leader and I volunteer at Laxson [Auditorium] as an usher. My favorite thing to do is to be at the Saturday farmers’ market. I’m going to add reiki [energy healing] to my repertoire.